Debbie's World of Books
My book reviews, book news & random rants

Searching For Pemberley by Mary Simonsen

December 9th, 2009 by Debbie's World of Books


Source: Received for review

Availability: In stores now

Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark

I give this book a 3 out of 5 stars

Description: Set against Regency England, World Wars I and II, and postwar England, three love stories intertwine in surprising and fateful ways

American Maggie Joyce, touring Derbyshire in 1947, visits, Montclair, an 18th century Georgian country house, that she is told was the model for Jane Austen’s Pemberley. More amazingly, the former residents of the mansion, William Lacey and Elizabeth Garrison, were the inspiration for the characters of Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice.

Through letters, diary entries, and oral history, Beth and Jack Crowell, a couple who lives in the nearby village of Crofton, share stories of the people they say inspired Jane Austen. They also tell their own love story, made difficult by their vastly different backgrounds—she was one of the social elite while he was the son of a servant. When their son, Michael, travels home from his RAF station in Malta, Maggie may have just found her very own Mr. Darcy.

Pride and Prejudice is my favorite book of all times so I had to pick this one up. I was always curious if Pride and Prejudice was based on any real characters so I loved this idea.  I was slightly disappointed in that the story of who the characters were based on were revealed early on and then the rest of the story mainly focused on the present day character, Maggie, and what is going on in her life.  I was also a little surprised by how easily the Crowells took Maggie in and started sharing what were all these family secrets with.  It seemed a little out of the blue.

That said the story about Maggie was an interesting one.   She gets involved in a love triangle as she begins dating a fellow American who is working in England.  She thinks she is in love and is hoping that he will propose but then she meets Michael, the son of the Crowells.  Michael has a girlfriend but he and Maggie are undeniably drawn to each other.  So while the rest of the book is peppered here and there with tidbits from the lives of the real Mr. and Mrs. Darcy the focus is on who will finally end up together.

Posted in 3 Star Books, Books, Historical Fiction, Romance

2 Responses

  1. Bookalicious

    Ooh, sounds great, I’d love to read it myself!

  2. Serena (Savvy Verse & Wit)

    I really enjoyed this book and the intermingling of WWII information with the love triangle and the discovery of Mr.Darcy and Ms. Bennet’s “true” identities.

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